Staunton, January 1 – Both Vladimir Putin’s new year’s greetings and the Russian people’s reaction to it suggest that there has been a fundamental change in both, Nikolay Travkin says, with the former having lost much of its ardor for action and the latter much of its optimism about the future of Russia.
Unlike in the past, Putin did not call on the people to defend what has been achieved or to march to new victories, the opposition politician says. Instead, he seemed to be going through the motions without much conviction, and the Russians responded in exactly the same way because that is how they feel (blog.newsru.com/article/01jan2018/newyear2018).
That inertia and indifference was also reflected in the statements and actions of opposition leaders, Travkin continues. KPRF candidate Pavel Grudinin announced he was spending his holidays skiing in Germany, yet pollsters found that he without campaigning is attracting 30 percent of the voters rather than the 18-20 percent the Kremlin intended.
The rest were just as boring, he suggests, noting that no one feels “the former Pioneer ardor among those in power [or] the customary optimism of the people this time around.” Even the weather seemed indifferent: there was no snow in Moscow and thus no real place for Father Frost.
Russians in power and out are simply going about their business without much hope for the future but rather acceptant that what is will continue and that they have little choice but to live with it. That is not a recipe for recovery or for a drive to greatness, Travkin rather bitterly suggests.